Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cheers from Mexico!

cheers! i wish all my friends could have experienced this with me! it was 5 wonderful days of fun in the sun in Los Cabos, Mexico!i'm back in boston dealing with two snow storms back to back. *sigh*

Random comic book panel of the month

From Sensation Comics #38, 1945. Happy holidays!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A new painting completed

Justice vs Ignorance, oil on canvas w/ mixed media, 2'x3'.
i'm pleased to announce i finished the second painting of my upcoming collection. more here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Announcing the concept for my new collection!

i’ve come up with a concept for a show that combines elements of ’50s sci-fi movie posters, the glamor of female celebrities from the ‘70-’80s, and comic book pin up art from the ’90s. i’m tentatively titling it, “heroines”. i’m mixing my love of pop culture and infusing it with a fine art sensibility and hope to have a 10-12 piece collection of mixed media paintings done in my usual “kinetic style”. i want it to be colorful, sexy, and empowering! i’ve already secured a space to host a preview show next summer. stay tuned for more!


Random comic book panel of the month

She-Hulk vs the Enchantress, Secret Wars #2, 1984.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Getting away from it all

My getaway in New England.
my studio is a secret sanctuary unlike any other, bestowed to me by my grandparents for my graduation from art school. it’s a great space to escape the city and reflect on my busy life. with a view like this you can understand how it’s become my creative nexus.

I'm reading too many comic books (but I love it)!

i posted a list of comics i'm reading, but --

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My favorite memories of my dad

Wonder Woman #25, the 1st comic book
 I ever bought, 1988.
the first comic book i ever bought at seven years old.

my fondest memories with my dad are of our bi-weekly trips to the comic book store in the late ’80s through the ’90s. early in my childhood I would read dad’s old DC and marvel comics over and over, but i loved using my allowance to purchase comics of my own. my love of comic books initially inspired me to draw, later paint, enroll in art school and study abroad, and eventually become an art teacher. thanks, dad!

happy father’s day to all of the dads who deserve to celebrate!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Stepping out

i was lucky enough to be invited to the grand opening of the new davio's cucina and showcase cinema de dux in chestnut hill, just outside boston. amazing food and a terrific viewing experience makes the short drive all the more worth it! special thanks to joseph holladay of mediamax network and shout out to chef eric swartz, a true artist.

Monday, May 20, 2013

wrapping up the school year

i was just telling myself a fun t-shirt project for art class would be great at the end of the school year. then my friend showed up w/ her latest redesign of an over-sized tee. perfect - it’s just what i was thinking! obviously i’ll tweak the lesson a little to fit 14-16 year old students, but this is gonna rock! my friend even offered to come in as a visiting artist. the kids and i love special guests!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The latest

i've been so incredibly neglectful of my art because students and i have been been busy preparing a 24' installation that's designed to speak out about empowering beyond racism. i'm very proud of the work that's gone into it thus far, but we have so much farther to go towards our opening night in downtown boston. check out the Y.E.S. for Change site for more info.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wake up, everybody

Panel from Wonder Woman #4, 1987.
yesterday, 2 bombs went off just 4 blocks from my home in boston. one never expects something like this to happen to you or those you know, but sometimes it does.

my love and support goes out to all the victims of this tragic event.

The world won't get no better if we just let it be. The world won't get no better. We gotta change it yeah, just you and me. - Teddy Pendergrass w/ Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Wake Up Everybody, 1976

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Collection of graphic novel reviews

Justice League: Origin

Batman: The Court of Owls

Supergirl: The Last Daughter of Krypton

Nightwing: Traps & Trapezes

Deathstroke: Legacy

Wonder Woman: Blood


Graphic novel review

Wonder Woman: Blood offers the third (or fourth) reinterpretation of the greek gods within the world of dc comics and while definitely the most modern, it's also possibly the most entertaining take on the gods of olympus. unfortunately these characters overshadow the book's star, who's voice is scarcely heard.

of all the revisions of dc comics' iconic heroes with its "new 52" launch, i was most interested in wonder woman.  the book opens with apollo, god of the sun, coercing his oracles into searching out the whereabouts of his missing father, zeus, king of the gods. the story quickly picks up when hermes, god of messengers, appears in rural virginia, to defend a young woman from centaur assassins. the young woman is teleported to london for safe keeping and apparently the home of wonder woman! the famous amazon princess and young woman, named zola, return to virginia and the super heroine makes quick work of zola's enemies. hermes reveals that hera, zeus' husband, sent the centaurs to kill zola because she's pregnant with the son of zeus! meanwhile, apollo watches all that transpires from afar, plotting his own campaign to slaughter the apparent new heir of zeus.

wonder woman soon finds she and zola share something in common, both women are connected to zeus, and their fate becomes tied together with factions of godly foes plotting their demise because of their involvement in olympian affairs. wonder woman's world is turned upside down when she realizes her mother, queen of the amazons, had planted a lie long ago to protect the princess from the envious hera. the queen of olympus enacts vengeance on the amazons when wonder woman teleports to london with zola and hermes. princess diana returns to the island home of her past too late and discovers her mother and sisters transformed in a poignant and dramatic scene that serves as a one of the book's most climatic moments. 

the brilliance of brian azzarello's writing, is that he finds a great balance of drama and action between so many intriguing characters. the soap opera of the olympian gods is brought to the modern world in such an excellent fashion that fans of comic books, reality tv, or even romance novels can all appreciate. though the 'witty' dialogue became slightly tiresome as if it were trying too hard to be smart.

a particular favorite character is strife, daughter of hera and sister of apollo. she's the villain you love to hate, taking neither side of a conflict, rather instigating all parties to suit her twisted desires. strife proves to be the perfect foil for princess diana who continually attempts to be the peace maker and leveled headed heroine one would expect. i can relate to this version of wonder woman, who righteously believes she knows what she's doing, but may not quite have a handle on events out of her control. we could all learn a thing or two from wonder woman.

the art fits the story with it's crisp and contemporary look by the book's main artist, cliff chiang. unfortunately, chiang does not pencil/ink the entire novel, and though tony akins admirably steps in to complete the last two chapters, his version of wonder woman is hideous. their designs of strife, hades, poseidon, and hermes could very well become iconic in the mythology of world of wonder woman and are probably the most outstanding aspect of, Wonder Woman: Blood.

the characters of the novel run the narrative, but not wonder woman herself. very rarely do we get a glimpse into the amazon princess' thoughts, though this changes slowly as the book progresses. what's obvious is that wonder woman is very much an outsider in the world beyond the shores of paradise island, but even among the amazons. wonder woman stands up for the little guy or girl and believes they deserve a chance to rise, that much is clear. i wish more time had been spent on getting to know wonder woman instead of introducing character after character (despite how much i like them). in the end, Blood is still fun modern take on the iconic super heroine.


Friday, March 15, 2013

You think you know me? Maybe you have no idea!

Steven & Troia, 2011
i've always been very forthright about myself, having long accepted my flaws as well has my more endearing qualities. but i'm always surprised by how little long-time friends, or even family, seem to know about me. so i thought i'd create a little game. i'm going to list 10 things you may or may not know about me. you think you know me? maybe you have no idea! read on and find out!

1. my parents are christian missionaries (or as i've coined them, "jesus freaks"), but have had a multitude of careers in my lifetime. my favorites would be the owners of  tae kwon do dojo and aerobic studios.

2. i became obsessed with wonder woman when i discovered her through my dad's old comic book collection and when i saw reruns of the tv show starring, lynda carter. the amazing amazon embodied strength, beauty, charm, wit, intelligence, humor, and compassion -- even for enemies -- something i've carried through all my life.

3. comic books brought me all over the world. it's true! based on the comic books i read from the '70s and '80s, i would draw my own comics and started taking art classes, then later going to art school, inspiring me to study abroad.

4. my mother had a brain aneurism when i was two years old. i was sitting behind her in the car when her brain just -- switched off. i still remember the thud her head made against the passenger seat window. i also remember seeing her again after surgery weeks later, a beautiful woman with no hair, but i was afraid to approach her outstretched arms.

5. i have a minor in nutrition. my reasoning for the degree was i wanted a backup if i ever got bored with the whole 'art thing'.

6. a former professor and dear friend took me under her wing and appointed me her intern/apprentice while she taught at the paris college of art. i learned so much about the world in those 3 months, traveling to other parts of europe on long weekends and holidays. i was devastated when my professor, a transgender woman, hysterical storyteller, fashionista, talented artist, and raging alcoholic, took her own life. there was a gaping hole in my soul for a long time.

7. my dog and two cats are among my most favorite people in the world. yes, you read that correctly.

8. i resisted becoming a teacher for a long time because my parents always said i would make a great teacher. so, of course, i couldn't be a teacher! but after life as a starving artist got old, i went back to school and became certified to teach visual art. turns out i love teaching!

9. my first degree is in studio art, focus on drawing and painting. that means i also studied ceramics, sculpting, art history, and printmaking for four years plus years. art education came later and became my real passion.

10. i was hit by a tour bus on a cross walk and thrown 10 feet, but survived with only a few scraps, bruises, and internal bleeding -- no gaping wounds or broken bones!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Update: I'm a survivor, 1 year later

Art by Ross Andru & Mike Esposito, 1967.
a year ago this month i endured a serious accident and miraculous recovery! i wrote about the experience here,

I'm a survivor

days later i had a wonderful birthday with friends, made all the more special after realizing i had a second chance at life. unfortunately, the following afternoon i was rushed to the er again! apparently my spleen had been discreetly bleeding and poisoning my other organs and it would be nearly 2 months before i was able to return to the things i enjoy like walking the dog, jogging, or teaching. in all i was hidden away from the world for an entire 12 weeks.

my life has returned to its standard craziness, though i still endure headaches and severe back pain from time to time. i'm told these symptoms of the accident may never completely go away. i've learned to cope and to listen to my body better. if it tells me i need to stay in for the night, i will. if the body feels like it needs a break, then i'll skip a workout. in the end, i think this accident was a way for the universe telling me to slow down, appreciate what it is i have in my life. and i maintain to do just that.

love to all of my wonderful friends and supporters. you make every moment of life worthwhile. the love and encouragement pushes me to do my best at home, in the classroom, or in the studio. thank you!

 a special shout out to mrs. mary lou morse, joseph holladay, and barbara binkowski who have done more for me than one could ever imagine. x

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Surprise gift!

an unused illustration sent to me from the artist himself, dave ross, from the upcoming, Iron Man: Armor Wars Redux, by david michelinie. so grateful! ross' art was a favorite of mine from his work on, Avengers West Coast, in the '90s.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gratitude

Journey of Life, Shirley Oxborough
i recently wrote a short letter to friends, family, coworkers, and former professors who in some shape or form touched my life in a positive way. the response has been overwhelming and i'm glad i took the steps to let them know how it is they've helped me along on my journey of life. despite setbacks, obstacles, and hard times -- i am blessed.


Dear friend,

Early this morning, during my usual three mile jog, I had the notion to send a brief note to all those who have done something special for me in the past. You may have encouraged me when I was down, given me a smile or hug when I needed it most, laughed at one of my bad jokes or stories, given me a place to stay, shared advice, given me a job, taught me an important lesson, or inspired an idea that lead to something great. For any of these reasons I love you and appreciate your friendship.

Thank you. x


S

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Superman does not stand for homophobia!

a former student brought this to my attention.

as an art teacher, i stress that my classroom is a safe space for all, without fear or persecution. i have posters on the walls of superman and wonder woman proudly declaring they stand to protect everyone.

dc comics should not publish work from a known homophob. please sign the petition so that superman will continue to fight for truth, justice, and the (every) american(s) way!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Graphic novel review

Deathstroke: Legacy is interesting in the fact that it's based on a super villain. title character, deathstroke, aka slade wilson, is an aged veteran who became superhuman through government experiments and later an infamous mercenary. in, Legacy, the villain constantly finds himself besieged by upstarts, hoping to make a name for themselves as the person to have killed the master assassin. meanwhile, wilson's health is slowly failing, but his pride refuses to allow him to retire and give up his spotlight.

as the volume progresses writer, kyle higgins, proves over and over that deathstroke is badass, but more complex then readers might expect. when wilson kills a would-be competitor, her wealthy family vow to eradicate deathstroke by hiring a long list of contract killers, each one tougher than the last. for every new killer, wilson comes closer and closer to loosing and begins reflecting on his past and the events that lead him to his life of near solitude and menace. higgins sets up his star to imagine himself a twisted type of samurai warrior, with a defined code of conduct. this later comes back to bite deathstroke, but it's not made clear if the lesson truly sinks in. towards the end of Legacy, karma does create a feasible rival for wilson, who slaughters through several wanna-bees most of the graphic novel.

Deathroke: Legacy is a lot like an inane quentin taratino movie where there's plenty of action for mayhem's sake. it would have been more enjoyable to see deathstoke battling worthy foes, rather than b or c level criminals. especially chapter after chapter of the same thing. though the absolutely epic art of joe bennett, art thibert, and eduardo pansica is worth every penny of this book! neither artist is afraid to show every gory detail of deathstroke's many slaughters and higgins is not afraid to point out that wilson is with few redeeming qualities. what i found most interesting with Legacy was the final chapter, which truthfully had little to do with the main story, but does provide a final clue that led deathstroke to become such an evil man. had this bit been plotted out more thoroughly throughout it would have tied each chapter cohesively. if you don't like violence, if you don't enjoy carnage, and expect intricate stories, this is not for you. rather this a fun romp of what it's like to be the baddest of the bad.

Graphic novel review

i've been a long-time fan of nightwing, aka dick grayson, aka the first robin, famous sidekick to batman. this collection of the first six issues of the new Nightwing series reminded me why grayson is such a likeable hero, but it didn't bring enough interest for me to fully invest in nightwing's latest mystery and adventures. be warned, i tried simplifying this review as much as possible, but well --

Nightwing: Traps and Trapezes starts off with dick returning to his heroic identity after serving a stint as batman. it's not explained why dick was standing in for his mentor. dick has set up a new headquarters in gotham city and eagerly looking forward to a life of his own again, away from the batcave. unfortunately, dick is immediately faced with a bit of drama when it's explained that the circus he was raised with before meeting batman has come to gotham city.
dick decides to face his fears of the ghosts and memories that have haunted him since he left haley's circus after his trapeze performing parents were murdered. much to his surprise, many of his old friends have either remained or returned to the circus over the years and all are pleasantly pleased to see the adult, grayson. meanwhile a sinister newcomer has come to gotham to eradicate dick grayson, "the fiercest killer of gotham." in rapid succession dick encounters his newest enemy, saiko, in both his civilian identity and as nightwing. saiko is just as trained a fighter as nighwing, and perhaps more deadly. also, raya, dick's first crush from his youth, leads the hero on a mysterious path to become the sole owner of the ailing circus when the original owner dies in nightwing's arms, leaving him with a cryptic message.

it quickly felt like there were several separate stories running at once through NTAT, but slowly, very slowly, several of these mysteries and events tie together. unfortunately, the flow of nightwing's owning the circus, searching out the identity of whoever is framing dick grayson, his rekindling relationship with raya, traveling with the circus while he seeks out mr. haley's killer, and saiko's involement -- gets interrupted by the arrival of batgirl (another old girlfriend) and the random attack of a demon controlled by the ex-wife of one of the circus performers. it's later explained that saiko's attacks, the murder of haley, and raya's interest in dick, tie loosely to an adventure batman underwent in his own series. this revelation totally upset the story, it seemed too coincidental. if this was the plan of writer, kyle higgins, there should have been more clues laid out for nighwing (and readers) to piece together on their own. 

while higgins pens a realistic average joe, dick grayson, not hampered by the trappings of being adopted by bruce wayne, his expert superhero, nightwing, is a respected veteran and confident in his mission to do the right thing. though if you don't know basic batman mythology, i'm not sure this book would necessarily be easy to understand. the art of eddy barrows, eduardo panisca, and several other fill-in artists escalate nightwing's acrobatic escapades to thrilling heights. a minor qualm i had with some of the choreography of the fight scenes was when a character was trapped, he or she miraculously escape off panel to deliver a devastating counter attack. i'm not sure if it's lazy work on behalf of the writer, or anyone one of the many artists.

you can't help but like dick grayson who constantly has the odds stacked against him, yet never loses sight of the end goal and somehow manages to persevere. you thrill at his triumphs and lament when the good guy finishes last with romance or a disagreement with batman. disappointingly, dick does not show the prowess of a trained detective. it's obvious almost immediately that raya knows more than she's willing to explain, but dick doesn't even allude to his mistrust of a woman he's not seen in nearly two decades. Nightwing: Traps and Trapezes is fun, but confusing, expecting the reader to trust that clues will turn up or understand past events without much explanation. and again, the wrap was too simple, even with its complexity. i appreciate that NTAT ties into Batman: Court of Owls, as it shows that nightwing is firmly involved with the bat-family, but it should have been introduced earlier, instead of all at once. as it, it made it seem like a final chapter from Batman, not Nightwing. ultimately i would have preferred the start to a new series focused more on nightwing's new role in gotham city, rather than his past with with the circus. nightwing's future remains to be seen either under the big top or with the city of his heroic origin.

February's blizzard

The Amazon Mutt started to help dig the car out! 



the snow storm last month was nothing compared to the two day blizzard that raged through the weekend last friday! even with warm temperatures the last few days, there's still so much snow and two days of no school. transportation has been a mess, even a five minute walk around the corner to the gym. quite honestly, i'll be glad when winter is o-v-e-r.
The beginning, early 2.8.13.
The morning after, 2.10.13.



Sunday, January 27, 2013

Graphic novel review

supergirl is nearly as famous as her cousin, the man of steel, but her origin isn't necessarily as well known. while having a similar background and nearly identical powers as superman, supergirl is a different type of hero altogether. actually, the truth is the maid of might isn't even sure she wants to be a hero. what writers michael green and mike johnson with artist, mahmud asrar, set out to do with their first volume of stories for the new Supergirl series is take readers on kara zor-el's journey of self discovery in the most formative years of any teenager's life.

the first thing one will notice is the exceptionally stylized and kinetic artwork. not only does asrar have a knack for designing futuristic sci-fi inspired technology or weapons, but he can poignantly bring such great emotion to characters through facial expression and body language. as an art teacher i've often used, Supergirl: Last Daughter of Krypton, as an example for various lessons. it should be mentioned that the book's artist did not redesign the god-awful costume of supergirl. i don't necessarily mind the high collar of her cape or knee-less thigh high boots, but the red triangle over her crotch seems inappropriate even for a girl from another planet, tacky even.

green and johnson start an exciting story right away and introduce a new foe's forces that continue to plague supergirl later in SLDoK. the first chapter is frantic and fast-paced to fully express kara's initial confusion and fear that follows as she discovers she's on a planet she's never heard of dressed in a uniform awarded to 'graduates'. kara is clearly a young woman who is bright and intelligent, but not always as responsible as her parents' would hope. basically, kara is a very human girl emotionally and instantly relatable. what perhaps sets this supergirl apart from other past versions of the superheroine is that she's determined to stand on her own. supergirl rejects superman's help, quickly realizing she's in a greater predicament than she imagined when she begins to realize that her home planet, krypton, is no more. 

from armored soldiers, mad scientists, to bizarre and powerful aliens, the list of threats that supergirl encounters are great additions to the girl of steel's mythos. green, johnson, and asrar are creating distinct corners of krypton and earth for kara that uniquely belong to her. it's exciting to read how the world within Supergirl: Last Daughter of Krypton is carefully revealed piece by piece and to see the growth of the book's star. it won't be long for supergirl to be known as heroine in her own right, besides her famous heritage.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Coming up with a concept

Ross, Diana Ross, 1983
i discuss the first step to coming up with a concept for a new painting. i've been influenced by diana ross, batgirl, to a forgotten sci-fi movie of the late '80s. check out my website for more.

swartstudio.com

Monday, January 7, 2013

Recognizing a "pioneer of television"

Lynda Carter, The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, 1974
i grew up reading my father's collection of '60s and '70s comic books before starting my own collection in the '80s. i knew wonder woman through those books and reruns of the popular TV show that originally aired nearly a decade before i was born. 'wonder woman' came on early saturday mornings before the usual cartoons. i would sneak down to the family room before anyone else was up and absorbed myself in the thrilling adventures of the amazon princess. lynda carter's role, along with the strong women in my family, inspired me beyond measure and helped mold a young impressionable boy for the good. i'm pleased that ms. carter is being recognized as a "pioneer of television". i take the lessons i learned about acceptance, equality, love, peace, and yes, sisterhood, and transfer them to my daily life, especially with my role as a teacher. 

Read more here, Pioneers of Television.

To read how i met my icon, read, My Moment of a Lifetime.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Latest snow storm

my neighborhood was hit with a recent snowstorm. here are some of the pictures i took as the dog and i perused our block.  


History of abstract art

Woman With Mandolin, Pablo Picasso, 1910
i posted a short blog on my formal website about the latest article i read in The New Yorker. Check it out here.

Friday, January 4, 2013

My generation is 'stuck'

everything happens for a reason. i had made plans to go to the studio to paint, but couldn't make it the day i had planned. it was desperately needed, but too much was going on as i was teaching at multiple institutes at the end of a busy term. finally i found a weekend to escape the city and take the two hour drive with the dog.

 i flipped through radio stations and came across NPR station, WBUR-FM 90.9. i caught the tail end of a series made of a collection of stories of recent graduates trying to make it in the 'real world'. i can relate, being an artist and educator around the same age as those interviewed. it hasn't been easy and i've had to take side jobs that i wasn't necessarily proud of, but i've also been lucky to work in the field i studied and of which i've been so passionate about. nonetheless life has been a struggle since graduating from college, more so than i ever intended. i didn't grow up wealthy, though i was afforded many opportunities others have not. i worked hard in school, was involved in college organizations, charities, and other extracurricular activities, and i have excellent work references. unfortunately for me, i'm competing in the work world against so many with the same list of attributes. understand, i'm not complaining, not completely. our economy makes me work harder and strive to think outside the box to a greater degree. in the end, i know it will be worth it. but i'm craving success now.

 i believe the universe positioned me to be in the car at that time the show was airing. suddenly i wasn't so down on myself. and when i shared this with friends, i found out how many of us are really in the same situation, despite appearances and cheerful smiles.

please check and out share, Generation Stuck.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Graphic novel review

i had been reading so many positive reviews of Batman: Court of Owls, that i put it at the top of my christmas wish list. i've been a long-time batman fan, but have gone through phases in which i decide to collect or not collect any number of titles starring the dark knight. Batman: The Court of Owls served to remind me why i like the character so much. not necessarily because of his determination, will, fighting prowess, or cool gadgets, but rather because of his supporting cast and list of super villains. 

within this graphic novel batman encounters for the first time a new foe, talon, and discovers he's a superhuman agent for an elite corporation of criminals. what's more, as batmam begins unraveling the mystery of the origin of his foes, he learns they have ties to his family. although the court of owls manages to capture and promptly torture the dark knight, the hero perseveres, but barely. with the assistance of former sidekick, nightwing, and long-time aid, alfred pennyworth, batman returns from the brink, this time with that last few pieces of the puzzle. surprisingly, nightwing is unwittingly involved, making batman's next strike against the owls all the more important!

   the novel ends on a cliff hanger, a bit of bummer, as this was a slow build to the meat of the story. i particularly liked how, during batman's mental and physical torture as he made his way through a labyrinth created by the owls, the panels are upside down to illustrate how batman's perceptions have been so severely rearranged. it wasn't until the conclusion of Batman: Court of Owls that i felt i was really invested in the book. batman is a grim avenger, but lightens up (slightly) when around his trusted associates. it's these moments i appreciated the most as it made batman a little more likeable. batman, bruce wayne, has an intense sense of justice, he's a good guy in every sense, and he refuses to accept mortal frailties. it's inspiring and the reader wants the hero to survive to fight for another day.

   terrific characterization from writer scott snyder and incredible pencil and ink work from greg capullo make this collection top notch. the creative team behind Batman: Court of Owls deserves all of the accolades bestowed upon them. the mythology of batman is richer now due to their efforts and i look forward to the sequel, hopefully with more of the batman family involved!

The current united states government

i'm frankly disgusted with congress as of late. while the american people faced economic doom, members of the house were bickering like school children. although going off the "fiscal cliff" was delayed, we'll be back to this soon unless democrats and republicans can agree on viable tax plans. i will say, i've become a bigger fan of vice-president joe biden for his apparent part in 'saving the day'. 

Read more here, "House Votes To Approve 'Fiscal Cliff' Legislation"

Update: noon today i read this. as if the above wasn't enough to dislike our current heads of government, "House Ignores Storm Relief: to Fury of Local Republicans"

i've grown increasingly dissatisfied with the american political system these last few weeks. the people in charge of our country are supposed to be out for our country's best interest. that no longer appears to be the case. maybe i'm just old enough to realize it, or perhaps i'm finally taking a strong enough interest in my country's well being to research the sordid facts. nonetheless i'm disappointed. it should be noted i'm not holding any one person (or party) totally accountable. i'm talking about the whole.

not a brilliant start to a new year, america.